Both Houses have passed it unanimously under President Bush and President Obama, but neither president took action on a formal pardon.
“President Obama has never said why he didn’t pardon Jack Johnson when Congress unanimously asked him to do so. The senators and congressmen pushing this pardon are apparently hoping that a re-elected President Obama sees this differently than he did in his first term,” said O’Donnell. “One hundred years after Jack Johnson’s conviction in court, justice for the first African-American heavyweight champion is up to the first African-American president.”
As women’s boxing makes its long-awaited debut at the Olympics, all eyes are on Marlen Esparza, America’s best hope for the gold.
Boxer Lavarn Harvell, right, connects to the head of Tony Pietrantonio for a knockout during the third round of their light heavyweight boxing fight in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on April 28, 2012.
by Gautham Nagesh
Former heavyweight champ Smokin’ Joe Frazier passed away Monday night at the age of 67 following a bout with liver cancer. The boxing world has lost an icon and one-half of its greatest rivalry.
I was fortunate enough to meet Frazier during Fight Night at the Washington almost exactly one year ago. As I told Martin, it was the one moment of my journalism career that I was completely star-struck. Enough that aside professionalism and posed for the photo above, which has now become one of my personal treasures.
Frazier and his tough, blue-collar approach to boxing was the perfect foil to mercurial Muhammad Ali. While Ali was all speed and grace, Frazier was pure power and determination. Few remember that he won the most-anticipated fight of his era, or that Ali called their final bout in Manilla the closest he’s been to death. Frazier’s name will endure as a symbol of when the sport reached its zenith; it is unlikely another heavyweight will ever deliver the left hook with such power and ferocity.
I stopped by NPR headquarters this morning to discuss Frazier’s passing on “Tell Me More” with host Michel Martin and Sugar Ray Leonard; the audio should be posted here around 3pm.
In the meantime, enjoy some of the better remembrances available on the Web after the jump: